Several reasonably minor “employer friendly” changes were introduced to the Act just prior to it becoming law, no doubt as a result of negotiations within the coalition. In particular:
This article outlines some of the key changes, focussing on the issues that may require employers (particularly larger employers) to make changes over the next few months.
When do larger employers have to stop using trial clauses?
Employers with 20 or more employees can include trial clauses in their employment agreements up until 5 May 2019. From 6 May 2019 those clauses will not be not lawful.
Any trial period validly included in an employment agreement before 6 May 2019 can still be used, so we will still see large employers dismissing under trial clauses up until early August 2019.
From 12 December 2018, the following changes apply:
6 May changes
The following changes will apply from 6 May 2019:
Collective agreements – terms and coverage
Rest and meal breaks
Other union related changes
11 June 2019 changes
From 11 June 2019 discrimination in employment on the grounds of an employee’s union membership status or involvement in union activities will be grounds for a personal grievance claim, widening the grounds from the current ground of “involvement in the activities of a union”.
Please contact our employment law team if we can help you prepare for these changes.